For dinner tonight a half pound of fresh smelt. Because I'm a bit of a wuss I cut the heads off and gut them, but most folks who eat smelt just fry the whole fish up and eat it.
If you've never eaten smelt, they're a very delicately boned fish that is usually eaten whole. I like them fried golden brown after being dredged in seasoned flour. Here's the details:
figure 1/2lb of head-on smelt per portion. Cut the heads off at a diagonal (consult picture, above) and squeeze out the roe and guts.
The seasoned flour is 1/2 cup of regular white flour with 1 tablespoon of salt and a half tablespoon of pepper. I put the head-off fish into a plastic bag and shake it to evenly distribute the flour.
Dredge in seasoned flower and fry in a couple of tablespoons of your favorite oil. I like peanut oil, but whatever you like.
Watch carefully when you're frying. You're going for golden brown on the bottom. When you're ready to flip the fish, sprinkle on more of your seasoned flower onto the top of the fish and then turn them over.
You eat the entire fish, backbone, ribs and all. The bones are very delicate and add a nice small crunch when you eat it.
I like to eat smelt accompanied by a green salad; tonight's was cherry tomatoes, green pea pods, red leaf lettuce, mushrooms and small cubes of tillamook medium cheddar cheese.
1 day ago